Student Profile

Every superhero has to learn about their powers. This trial and error process is a vital step in your hero backstory. We want you to feel confident in knowing exactly how you can harness the data and training we are providing you. Superheroes aren’t always blessed with the ability to read minds (though some are) so these 60+ frequently asked questions are designed to get you up to speed in understanding the norms and insider tips that make Insights 2.0 so powerful. Have a question not on the site? Email insights@unt.edu to get an answer! Here is a superhero sized hint: Use the search box at the top of this page to enter keywords associated with your question to quickly scan this site's content (e.g. data governance, training type, etc.).
WHAT IS ANALYTICS AND OUR UNT HISTORY WITH INSIGHTS?

How is analytics different than reporting?

ANSWER: According to the recent thought leadership work by EDUCAUSE , Association for Institutional Research (AIR), and National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) that brought together three of the largest higher education professional associations to push for analytic maturity, (https://changewithanalytics.com/statement/) analytics are broader than just simple reporting. Analytics is the use of data, statistical analysis, and explanatory and predictive models to gain insight and act on complex issues. Whereas reporting is focused on helping to understand what happened in the past (and in many cases users are powerless to change what has happened) analytics focuses on helping to understand why something happened so that we can help to shape the best possible future for our organization and the people who work in it. Davenport & Harris, 2007 posit the following crosswalk to understand the differences between analytics and reporting and the level of maturity that is needed within an organization's analytic program to compete - note: these are in ascending order from the lowest level of maturity to the highest level of analytical maturity. 1) Standard Reports - What Happened?, 2) Ad Hoc Reports - How many, how often, where?, 3) Query/Drill Down - What Exactly is the Problem?, 4) Alerts - What Actions are Needed?, 5) Statistical Analysis - Why is This Happening?, 6) Forecasting - What if Trends Continue?, 7) Predictive Modeling - What Will Happen Next?, 8) Optimization - What is the Best That Can Happen?

How did UNT choose to go down this path?

ANSWER: The University of North Texas (UNT) recognized the strategic value of data early on. Our executive sponsor and president, Dr. Neal Smatresk, was and remains passionate about the use of data to help transform institutions of higher education. His vision and commitment of resources in 2015 truly jumpstarted the program that exists today, the UNT Insights Program. With the collaborative support of our IT partners, we embarked on the journey to modernize our approach to data, analytics, and information resources. Our initial goals were to respond to three mission-critical questions related to student enrollment, cost, and academic impact. These goals served as guideposts for decisions along the way and we quickly realized that data governance and data management.

What benefits has UNT seen already from the program?

ANSWER: The results for UNT have truly begun to speak for themselves. In addition to earning a CIO 100 award for innovation in technology in 2019, we have enrolled the largest class in our history and are seeing unprecedented gains in four- and six-year graduation rates. The ROI from the UNT Insights Program has already covered costs for the program and then some. (The ROI was derived from positive gains in funding associated with record retention rate improvements, outcome funding from our state for graduating more at-risk students, and the elimination of third-party contracts for services we can now do in house.). We have numerous examples of our Insights analytics impacting grading practices, strategic enrollment management practices, financial aid processes, and the overall Institutional Research capability. Insights has grown into a trusted source of data and analytics for our 850+ trained and certified users across the campus, and over 1,100 strategic business terms are governed and documented. This past fall, our retention rates saw growth both in first time in college and transfer populations and that is the ultimate outcome: more students staying on their path to achieve their dream of a college degree.

What is SAS Visual Analytics?

ANSWER: Insights 2.0 is run off of SAS Visual Analytics. This toolset leverages SAS high-performance analytic technologies and empowers organizations to explore huge volumes of data quickly to identify patterns, trends, and opportunities for further analysis. The highly visual, drag-and-drop data interface of SAS Visual Analytics, combined with the speed of SAS Cloud Analytic Services (CAS), accelerates analytic computations and enables organizations to derive value from massive amounts of data. This creates an unprecedented ability to solve difficult problems, improve business performance, predict future performance, and mitigate risk rapidly and confidently. Users can quickly design reports or dashboards, which can be viewed on a mobile device or on the web.

TRAINING

Do you require new users to go through training?

ANSWER: Yes! As part of our on-going effort to protect the student and employee information from evil doers, our team of superheros do everything possible to ensure that all members of the Insights user community community understand the common expectations required for leveraging these data and analytic tools.

How long does training take?

ANSWER: Trainings are diverse and the times vary according to the adventure you choose. Visit the training page to read the descriptions for each training for specifics. On average trainings last typically from 60-90 minutes.

How often is training offered?

ANSWER: Trainings are continually being scheduled and we want to make it convenient for our data superheros to enhance their superpowers. Dates and times are advertised on the Insights Calendar page.

What format can I get trained in?

ANSWER: No two superheros are the same and neither is our training approach! We will offer trainings online, in-person, or when a user requests the ability to accept the ultimate challenge of creating their own dashboards in Insights, one-on-one.

What do I need to bring with me to training?

ANSWER: Assuming you already emailed back your user acceptance agreement that was sent to you in advance of training - nothing! As if you were flying high in an invisible plane - to the outward observer you would attend Insights training just like any other UNT meeting. DAIR will provide you with a training laptop in the instance of face-to-face trainings or share our screen with you in online trainings.

How often do I need to attend training?

ANSWER: We believe in giving our superheroes the ability to choose their own adventures. Training attendance is based solely on the needs of each user. Given new superpowers are being produced by the Insights team on a regular basis we would encourage our users to stay informed of updates on our Teams site (membership is added after you attend your first training) for options.

Can students get trained?

ANSWER: In most cases no. Insights 2.0 is all about protecting the student, faculty, and staff information we rely upon. Typically, users need to have an official job role in HRIS to be deemed able to be trained. The only exception to this rule is student assistants or federal work study students - in these cases these users would NOT be given access to Insights.

What types of training does Insights 2.0 offer?

ANSWER: Training ranges on the needs of the superhero. For brand new users we offer New User training, in the cases of existing users we also offer a refresher training option, and finally for our super users we have a special training just for them. Please visit the Training page for specific information.

Roughly, how many trained Insights users are there?

ANSWER: Our ranks are swelling on a regular basis. Come join our superhero community of over 850 trained Insights users!

SECURITY

What computing policies do I need to agree to as part of the Insights 2.0 community?

ANSWER: In addition to FERPA mentioned above, we do require our data superheros to abide by the guidelines issues by UNT. Specifically, users are responsible forr their actions under the following policies: guidelines outlined in Texas Administrative Code Rule §TAC 202.72 Staff Responsibilities for Information Security Standards for Institutions of Higher Education; guidelines outlined in the UNT Enterprise ITSS Sensitive Data Policy Guide found at: https://itss.untsystem.edu/divisions/ets/cws/sensitive-data-policy-guide; guidelines outlined in the UNT Enterprise ITSS Information Security Handbook found at: https://itss.untsystem.edu/divisions/mrs/policies. By holding our community accountable through these expectations our superheros are that much stronger as we strive to do good with data within a framework of acceptable practice and security expectations.

How do you protect student and employee data?

ANSWER: DAIR is committed to ensuring that student, faculty, staff, and financial information is secure and safe. In partnership with UNT System Information Security leadership DAIR leverages a multi-faceted approach to maintaining a commitment to information privacy and confidentiality. The Insights 2.0 program leverages training, role-based permissions, and other strategies to protect information and we follow all appropriate State and Federal laws to maintain a commitment to our students, parents, alumni, and employees.

Why is VPN required to access Insights 2.0?

ANSWER: Like a secret decoder ring, UNT utilizes a VPN to redirect your internet traffic, disguising where your computer, phone or other device is when it makes contact with the Insights 2.0 program. Our UNT VPN also encrypts information you send across the internet, making it unreadable to anyone who intercepts your traffic. We take these steps (and require you to as well) to ensure that we protect the data we make visible to you in Insights 2.0).

What assurances do I need to provide to get access to Insights 2.0?

ANSWER: All users are asked to acknowledge the common community standards of being an Insights data superhero. As part of the onboarding process you will be asked to complete an agreement that spells out the various responsibilities you will need to embrace to continue to get access to protected information. Remember with great power comes great responsibility. In general the following commitments are expected: Users agree that the purpose of their access to Insights Program is for internal institutional policy analysis and/or decision-making. Users understand that Insights Program data must not be used for personal purposes that extend beyond the campus. Users also acknowledge that the UNT Enterprise Human Subjects Review Board and the department(s) responsible for maintaining the data must approve the use of any data for published and/or presented research. Users further agree to abide by UNT Enterprise mass email policies when using data from the Insights Program to contact students. Users also attest that they understand and will abide by FERPA guidelines. Users acknowledge that they understand that user IDs and passwords used to access the Insights Program are issued on an individual basis and they are solely responsible for all information obtained through the Insights Program using their unique identification. Users see the danger in sharing passwords/access and acknowledge that at no time will they allow use of their user ID or password by any other person regardless of role. Given the tremendous power of the data, users agree that the use and interpretation of any figures, tables, charts, or analyses produced using the Insights Program tools are their own responsibility.

How was your security protocol developed?

ANSWER: The Insights partners worked collaboratively across the enterprise to build a strong foundation for access, security, and protecting student, faculty, and staff information. Collaboration worked because we brought together our Chief Information Security Officer and her team, the CIO, CTO, and Chief Enterprise Architect to work with Program leadership. This approach enabled security reviews, role creation, security integrations, and ongoing privacy and security testing to act as a foundation for success. The program believes in ensuring that users undergo multiple checks for appropriate access, we prioritize effort associated with role provisioning, and trust our partners in Information Technology to manage the external security and protection of our data. This relationship allows the Functional Analytics team to focus on product development and the IT team to focus on security and data protection. We encourage you to reach out to the Program if you have a question as you are an important element in the larger ecosystem designed to defend of our data from wrongdoers.

LOGGING IN/ACCESSING ANALYTIC DASHBOARDS

Where do I go to login?

ANSWER: The Insights 2.0 program wants to make access for our data superheroes easy. In addition to being able to click on this website (data.unt.edu) users can also navigate to http://insights2.unt.edu. By either clicking on a specific product on this website or navigating to insights2.unt.edu you will automatically be directed towards an enterprise Single Sign On (SSO) webpage. Assuming your VPN is active (more on that below) you should only have to do this once each session. Depending on the doorway you chose to access the system you will either come to a menu screen (using the generic Insights2.unt.edu) where you will need to open your product from a folder/icon or taken to the specific product you are interested in (by clicking on a product icon in data.unt.edu). We hope providing our superheroes with mutliple vehicles to reach your data you can maximize your time focusing on applying data to problems and not spending it attempting to find it in the first place. Who doesn't like having a supercar, superplane, or superboat when options are needed?

What is my username when I login?

ANSWER: It's super easy. Use your UNT provided EUID (example: unt1890) and your established AWS password. If you need to update your UNT password in AWS this should automatically refresh in Insights2 (just remember to update any saved passwords).

I am a former Insights user, did you finally vanquish the evil unt/ in front of the login name?

ANSWER: YES! This was the proverbial Kryptonite for so many users for so many years. With Insights 2.0 you no longer need this. We are thrilled to make access to the system that much easier for our users.

I am trying to access Insights 2.0 from off-campus do I have to do anything different?

ANSWER: Yes. Insights 2.0 users who wish to access analytic products that are not located on the public server must first connect via Virtual Private Network. As noted above this is an additional strategy the teams have implemented to protect our environment. This is a best practice regardless of where you attempt to access Insights 2.0.

What browser is best to use in Insights 2.0?

ANSWER: Google Chrome is considered the most stable browser to utilize. We strongly reccommend not using Microsoft Edge. While others browsers may function and the program continually tests in all browsers we have found that Chrome is your best choice to leverage the Insights 2.0 program.

Can I navigate within Insights 2.0 using the built in menu once logged in?

ANSWER: Yes! We are pleased to offer you access to a navigation guide. As our data products continue to expand, please email insights@unt.edu for the latest copy to help you find your way.

Does Insights 2.0 require a special password/login combination?

ANSWER: Yes and No. We do require a password and login (see question above) to access the UNT specific Insights 2.0 products that contain non-aggregated student data. You do not need a login/password to get access to our products on the Public Server. Note: these data products are aggregated and do not provide specific student level detail.

NAVIGATING THE ANALYTICS

How do I drill down in Insights 2.0?

ANSWER: We want to make this easy - so the Insights 2.0 Program has developed the following hint sheet to help you do this and so much more. This can be found by clicking here. . To drill down, typically double click on a chart of graph element and then choose "Drill to (Name of Variable)." To drill down to see a data governance definition in BDN, double click on a graph element and then choose "BDN: (Name of Variable)." Users can also expand tabular data by clicking the right arrow (>) on the row. Click the left arrow (<) to collapse a row. In tree-maps, you can select a particular cell to drill down further into this variable (first click cell, then choose Drill). Take special note of how the headings change and leave you breadcrumbs notes.

How do go from section to section on the dashboards?

ANSWER: You can navigate sections two ways. The easiest is to go the first tab to the left on any Insights 2.0 non-finance product. On this overview sheet you will see each section with a link and description. Select a section to be taken to that particular page within the analytic product. If your product does not have this page, then easily click on the section headings at the top of the analytic page. If you are viewing Insights 2.0 using the mobile SAS app (please contact insights@unt.edu if you need assistance to put this on your device) then simply swipe left to move to the next section. It is fast and easy.

How do I download data to a secure location?

ANSWER: We always want to urge caution here and recall the program agreement that users signed off on to get access to Insights 2.0. We also know that in some cases exporting data can be very helpful to our users. Part of the power of the system and why we take privacy and security so seriously is the ability to see detailed dis-aggregated student information in the password protected Insights 2.9 products. In most cases, users simple need to right click on a graphic, chart, or data table and choose "Export data" then select the variables you want included and click OK. Remember to "X" out of any tables when you are finished.

How can I export a graph or image to another software program (Word, Excel, etc.)?

ANSWER: Right click on the graph or image and choose "Save image" - then select a location on your computer to save the image.

How can I filter a result set on the screen to see information only impacting me or my department?

ANSWER: Filtering restricts the data that is returned from a data source query. Depending on the actions that were defined by the report designer, you might be able to filter or select data within your report. For example, clicking a bar chart can control the data displayed in a list table. To filter data in the target object (or objects), click on data in the source object. Clicking on different data applies the filter based on the new data selection. To clear the selection, click in the white space that surrounds the source object. Linked selections enable you to see the selected data simultaneously in two or more tables, graphs, or both. Click on data in the source object to select data in the target object (or objects). To clear the selection, click in the white space that surrounds the source object. In many cases, this is the same as drilling down to see data in a particular field. Our Insights 2.0 designers will typically place universal/global filters at the top of analytic products. These filters impact all of the visual analytics on that particular screen. Some charts can be filtered down by selecting on a particular school/college/unit by double clicking on it. Please take note of your filtering choices as the new program will remember these the next time you open the dashboard. You can check these choices by looking at the descriptive text above the analytics element. It will show you the lineage of your filtering choices (also known as bread-crumbing).

How do I find out where the data is coming from that I am seeing?

ANSWER: This is a classic use case for our data governance tool BDN. You will want to double click on a chart element, variable, etc. and choose "BDN: (Name of Variable) and click on the link. BDN will open in a separate browser window and you can utilize the BDN environment to see source, attributes, lineage, and a host of other metadata.

What are a few tips in general to navigate the Insights 2.0 products?

ANSWER: To refresh a report, click the More options icon (3 vertical dots that look like a snowman), and then select Refresh report. You can also use the tabs at the top of a report to view the pages of the report. To view another report that has already been opened, click the Opened items icon, and then select the report that you want to view. The icon displays the number of open reports. If you are viewing a report and you want to view another report that is not already open, click the More options (Snowman icon), and then select Open. You can also click the View all reports icon (icon looks like a list of bullets with lines) to see a tiled list of reports. To restore your report to its initial view state, click the More options (Snowman icon), and then select "Restore default report state". This removes any changes that you have made to controls, navigation, drill states, and so on.

How can I tell if I have filtered results when I come back to a dashboard after a few days?

ANSWER: To display the data source filters for an object, click the Information icon, and then select the object.Any filtering choices are noted by the bread-crumbing above the chart or graph. You can reset the entire analytic easily by clicking the More options (3 vertical dots - a.k.a Snowman icon), and then select "Restore default report state". This removes any changes that you have made to controls, navigation, drill states, and so on.

How can I sort data?

ANSWER: For list tables, crosstabs, and graphs that support sorting, you can sort the data by right-clicking the object, and selecting Sort. For each of the data items that can be used to sort the data, you can select either data-item: Ascending or data-item: Descending. For list tables and crosstabs, you can also sort by clicking the column headings. To add a secondary sort, press Ctrl, and then click a column heading. Alternatively, you can add a secondary sort by right-clicking a column heading, and selecting Sort then select data-item: Add Ascending or Sort then select data-item: Add Descending.

How can I maximize an analytic chart, table, etc. to fill the entire screen?

ANSWER: Maximizing an object expands it to the full size of the canvas and displays the details table for the object. To maximize an object, right-click the object, and select Maximize view. You can also click the Maximize icon (four arrows going off in different directions at the 2, 4, 8, and 10 hour position on a clock) in the object toolbar.

I have a visual impairment, can I still use Insights 2.0?

ANSWER: Yes, as part of the upgrade to Insights 2.0, our vendor provides a Graphics Accelerator. This Graphics Accelerator is a Google Chrome extension that enables users with visual impairments or blindness to explore data visualizations. It supports alternative presentations of data visualizations that include enhanced visual rendering, text descriptions, tabular data, and interactive sonification. Sonification uses non-speech audio to convey important information about the graph. For information about installing SAS Graphics Accelerator, see http://support.sas.com/software/products/graphics-accelerator/index.html. The following object types support SAS Graphics Accelerator: bar chart, bubble plot, line chart, time series plot, pie chart, and scatter plot. To view an object with SAS Graphics Accelerator, select the More icon for the object, and then select View with SAS Graphics Accelerator. SAS Graphics Accelerator displays the object in a new Google Chrome tab.

Can I print an Insights 2.0 dashboard to PDF?

ANSWER: Yes! You can print to PDF an entire report or pieces of a report. To print a report to PDF directly from the tiles view and bypass the Print to PDF window, click the Actions icon (snowman - three vertical dots) and select Print. To print an open report to PDF, click the More options icon (snowman icon), and then select Print. You can print specific pages or objects using the Select Objects tab. To print an object to a PDF directly from the object, select it, click the More icon (snowman icon)on the object, and select Print object. Printing option details include: Show empty rows and columns in table applies to both list tables and crosstabs. Include appendix information is selected by default if the report, page, or object has parameters, descriptions, filters, warnings, errors, or display rule legends. Include supplemental tables adds a section at the end of the PDF that includes the details tables for all of the objects in the report. Expand clipped and non-visible content prints, to separate pages at the end of the report, the entire content of tables, crosstabs, gauges, and containers. Include cover page prints the name of the report, the PDF creation date and time, the author name, the number of pages, and any text entered in Cover page text.

What are some considerations to be aware of when generating a PDF?

ANSWER: Not included in the PDF: hidden pages, report prompts, page prompts, and prompt containers. Filters that are applied to objects are listed in the appendix. You can print a hidden page separately if it is linked from another object in the report. Click the Print icon in the page window. By default, containers and crosstabs print only what you see on the screen. Select the Expand clipped and non-visible content option to print all content. A crosstab with more than 5,000 selected cells cannot be printed. By default, an appendix is included in the PDF if the report, page, or object has descriptions, filters, warnings, errors, or display rule legends. If an object has a high-cardinality filter, and the Include appendix information option is selected, the filter description might be truncated in the printed appendix. There can be differences in the fonts in a printed report if the fonts that are used to create a report do not match the fonts that are available on the server that generates the PDF. Depending on your locale, a PDF might not render correctly in Microsoft Edge. Try using Adobe Reader as the PDF viewer.

DATA GOVERNANCE

Are the data definitions secret?

ANSWER: No, all users can see the definitions. We store data definitions in SAS Business Data Network software.

Can I access them?

ANSWER: Double-click on a graph, icon, or spreadsheet cell, and click on a data term link to see the definitions.

How does UNT lead the nation in Data Governance?

ANSWER: We are a central data point for all UNT data and activities. Making us the data liaison in all decisions that will help set and achieve strategic goals.

What makes this program different?

ANSWER: Our relationship with the university data partners allows us to leverage data. Using the SAS business solutions software SAS Business Data Network, we are able to collaborate with Functional, Technical, and Subject Matter Experts to define UNT system wide data.

How many business terms are under active governance?

ANSWER: We have over 1,000+ business terms.

What tool does UNT use for Data Governance?

ANSWER: SAS Business Data Network (SAS BDN) manage data term lists that promote the common understanding between stakeholders at UNT. It’s a university wide approach to managing information, definitions, source and reference data, and process relationships.

How can my unit get access to Data Governance tools for our business data?

ANSWER: You can sign-up for Insights Part 1 training to gain access to analytic dashboards and SAS Business Data Network. Click here to Sign-Up!  

What does the governance process at UNT look like?

ANSWER: We divide the data into functional areas and identified key representatives including technical and functional subject matter experts, data stewards and VP liaisons. We have an enterprise wide data governance structure that is built starting with executive strategy, support, data governance council, and operations that includes three horizontal operational domains (Academic, Finance, and Student Data).

What are the governance requirements for new analytic products?

ANSWER: We embed links to term definitions into all analytic products. Users are able to access the definitions of the terms that are involved in each product.

How does Insights 2.0 ensure data quality in analytic products?

ANSWER: Each business data term is attached to a workflow of approvals starting with the technical, functional, and subject matter experts. Any additions and revisions are placed into the term workflow, approved, and then published for all UNT Insights users.

PRODUCTS

What are the current analytic products in Insights 2.0?

ANSWER: Please visit the UNT Insights Dashboards Page for a complete list of current Insights 2.0 products. Our initial list of products were developed using a combination of factors including executive need, commonly requested information, and data products related to the institution's strategic plan. The Insights 2.0 program believes in providing relevant data to answer relevant questions to make a truly relevant impact on our university community.

How are new analytic products decided upon?

ANSWER: The Insights Program leverages a program charter and continual loops of feedback with executives and key stakeholders across the institution to prioritize efforts. Typically, complex challenges are raised up that require an analytical approach to solving. Executives, stakeholders, data modelers, and institutional researchers then partner to produce relevant products to meet the need of the community. Given analytics is the totality of dashboard design, data modeling, and data governance efforts this is a resource intensive process and we may have a backlog of products in development at any point in time.

What if my unit has an interest in developing our own Insights analytics – what do I need to know to get started?

ANSWER: We are very excited to announce the ability for other units to participate as a developer in Insights 2.0. With this opportunity though units need to carefully consider the time needed to learn the new tool, understand the expectations for supplying data in an automated fashion, agree to data governance principles and work to champion Insights within their own unit or area. A key first step would be to sign-up for our Insights Developer training. Insights Developer training. In this three day course, DAIR will invest in you to learn the basics to get started importing data, learning how to create visual analytic items, prepare variables for the data governance process, and establish guidelines on who will have permission to view the analytic. Once you complete this training, DAIR will work with you to assist in moving the product through our various Development, Quality Assurance, and Production environments. Please note that DAIR may not be in a position to provide data modeling support and we would be happy to recommend strategies for you to consider to overcome this challenge. That aside, developing in Insights 2.0 is a profound way to make a difference for your department, unit, or division. We welcome you to the Insights 2.0 team and look forward to seeing what you produce to assist your leadership and support our students.

How do I know if data is transactional or official in an Analytic product?

ANSWER: We provide multiple ways of determining this within an analytic product. Designers will typically put a refresh date at the top of products that leverage nightly refreshes. In the case of official data, this will be mentioned in the introductory slide. Users can also right click on a datapoint and visit the link to go to BDN to see the associated metadata (data about data). When in doubt, we encourage you to reach out to the Insights User group Microsoft Teams site. A member of the Insights 2.0 Program will respond back with a response.

How do I find out about new Insights 2.0 products that get released?

ANSWER: The Insights 2.0 program is committed to ensuring all of our data superheroes find out about any new products. We will update the data.unt.edu webpage regularly, we also will send out updates and announcements via the Teams User group, and in the cases of brand new content areas design and invite users to specific training sessions.

Can I break an Insights product?

ANSWER: No matter how strong you are, how powerful your laser vision, or fast you are at supersonic typing you CANNOT break an Insights 2.0 product! We provide training to help ensure that you know how to derive the best information out of products including filtering, drilling down, extracting, etc. but you cannot break a dashboard. One thing to remember though is that Insights 2.0 is smarter than your average villain and will remember any of your most recently used filtering. This is to save our superheroes work if they are interested in only one unit, department, or division. Users are trained how to recognize when these filters are applied but it is good to remind yourself of your choices whenever opening an Insights 2.0 product again.

How do I get help if I get stuck or can’t remember how to navigate a specific Insights 2.0 analytic product?

ANSWER: We can relate. We offer so many different super-powers that it can sometimes be a challenge to remember the right situation to use the right power. That being said, you can always navigate back to UNT Insights Dashboards to see the list of tools. Additionally, we have a guide in our Insights Program 2.0 Teams site to help you from a user experience perspective. This total focus on your care and support is a hallmark of the Insights 2.0 community.

What is the process for bringing a new Insights 2.0 analytic to life?

ANSWER: This is a great question and one that most superheroes grapple with as they envision the data they need to do good. Unfortunately, many users believe that it should be as easy as creating a document or chart in the programs they are already trained to use. In reality, all new analytic products start with a strategic question. What are you trying to know? What challenge are you trying to address? This separates analytics from reporting. The following steps are used by the Insights 2.0 team to deliver products to our community. 1) Determine and frame the strategic question, 2) Engage in active data discovery & staging, 3) Begin the effort to model the data in the tools, 4) Initiate the data governance processes, 5) Conduct initial data validation testing, 6) Begin to design the analytic product, 7) Conduct analytic testing in development (Dev), 8) If stable in test (TEST) and responds to the need move the analytic to production (Prod), 8) Inform users in the community of the analytic product and conduct assessment to see if it addresses the initial question, 9) Revise and update as needed to maintain current and timely data for the community. Users will see that in the nine steps outlined above the actual analytic design process doesn't happen until two-thirds of the way in the process. This is important to note because the pre-work is what ensures your super-powers remain strong and that you can trust what is being produced.

DATA MODELING/ TECHNICAL BACKGROUND

What software is Insights 2.0 built upon?

ANSWER: SAS Insight 2.0 is build upon SAS Viya. SAS Viya provides us with quick, accurate and reliable analytical insights using in memory analytical insights which is cloud enabled.

What hardware is used for Insights 2.0?

ANSWER:

Student Profile

How many environments does Insights 2.0 contain?

ANSWER: SAS Insights 2.0 is made up of four environments – Development, Test, Production, and Public. Development, Test, and Production are SSO enabled; users are able to access different environments based on granted privileges. The dashboards on the Public Server will be available for a general audience within and outside the University. There is no need to have access to consume these dashboards.

How frequent are patches and hot-fixes applied to the environment?

ANSWER: Application of SAS Viya Hot Fixes are determined by the severity or need on our environment’s daily operation. New patches will be reviewed and installed as available per SAS Institute’s release schedule. License updates will result in the updates and most of hot fixes applied automatically.

What vendor did Insights 2.0 partner with to stand up this new system?

ANSWER:Pinnacle Solution Inc., in collaboration with the SAS Institute, installed the underlying system that drives Insights 2.0.

Who is tasked with helping to maintain the technical infrastructure of Insights 2.0?

ANSWER: ITSS is tasked with helping to maintain the technical infrastructure of insights 2.0

What’s the source of Insights data?

ANSWER: Advancing an organization's analytic efforts requires looking at data from both within the organization and external to it. Insights 2.0 leverages data from a diverse array of sources. For some products we leverage our student information system (PeopleSoft) or our CRM system (SalesForce). Looking beyond our borders, we also leverage data that comes from the National Student Clearinghouse. Additionally, some Insights 20 products exploit Statewide data furnished by the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), and other Texas and Federal sources. For some products, we rely upon secondary or tertiary derived information that is created by our professionals in Institutional Research. In some cases data are uploaded via a flat file. In all cases, we do not visualize data without first documenting it within our data governance program SAS Business Data Network (SAS BDN) (see more about our data governance efforts above). We recognize that we cannot afford to only look at one source for information. Challenges and problems are complex and our approach to triangulate data across a diverse array of sources is one of the reasons Insights 2.0 is so powerful for our users.

What makes these data the gold standard?

ANSWER: Most users think that an analytic product is easy to produce. The Insights 2.0 process is intentionally designed to leverage the expertise of technical and functional subject matter experts to build trust in the ultimate product and the data that serves as a foundation for decision making. Insights 2.0 is currently the only program on campus that intentionally leverages a data management and data governance protocol to document all of the steps involved in surfacing data for our users. We document how our data is derived, where it is housed, how often it is updated, and a host of metadata (or data about the data) within our data modeling and data governance environments. If you see data within an Insights 2.0 product you can trust that many layers of professionals had a hand in ensuring it is valid. We also believe in being transparent about our data and users can find out more by visiting BDN. We encourage units or departments who would like dashboards created for their use to first consider the effort and lift required to source, validate, and ensure data can be updated within a secure and trusted manner. The experts within the program are happy to engage in these conversations with interested parties.

What purpose does a data model serve?

ANSWER: In an oversimplified way, Insights 2.0 rely upon several data models to drive some of our products. In its simplest form, an Insights 2.0 data model organizes data variables and elements and standardizes how these data elements interact, feed, or relate to one another. Since data models are made up of attributes that document real life (Students, Faculty, Staff, expenditures, patterns, trends, etc.), our Insights 2.0 data models represents reality for life at UNT. For example a classroom has many seats or a dining hall has several food lines/types. Generally speaking, data models are often used as an aid to communication between the functional subject matter experts/consumers defining the requirements for an analytic product and the technical subject matter experts defining the design of data structures in response to those requirements. They are used to show the data needed and created by our processes, outcomes, and business decisions/policy. Ultimately, our data superheroes need to know that a data model explicitly determines the structure of data. Insights 2.0 leverages data model documentation practices in BDN and via modeling tools including Data Integration Studio and ERWIN. Superheroes who use data for good recognize, prioritize, and resource the creation of a data model as a critical first step taken after UNT sets requirements for an Insights 2.0 product.